Economics Working Paper 21118
Abstract: The economics literature lacks articles that provide a broad roadmap—let alone a logical explanation—of the new set of Federal Reserve policy tools that were created to counter the COVID-19 recession. This study provides an overview of the motivation for these new credit-easing programs—namely to damp feedback mechanisms and channels that would otherwise amplify the downturn and impede a subsequent recovery. The study then briefly assesses the impact of the new policy tools and addresses the risks they might pose. In addition, the new credit easing tools are put into historical context through a discussion of their development as part of the Fed’s evolving and expanding role in countering financial crises.